All Things Winter Park Resort

What you need to know for a weekend at Winter Park Resort

What's in a name? Well, winter's in its name, so you know a trip to Winter Park in the snow has to be good. I’ve been to Winter Park many times, but this winter was the first time I stayed on the main plaza at the resort. The location couldn’t have been better. Here’s what you need to know for a snowy weekend at Winter Park Resort.

Stay at Winter Park Resort

Photo courtesy of Carl Frey, Winter Park Resort

Cozy in a one-bedroom condo at Zephyr Mountain Lodge, the location of the property is perfect. We walked out the front door of the lodge and onto the brand new Gondola. There are 75 gondolas in all at Winter Park, and they are the newest and fastest way to get up the mountain this year. They are also free after 4 p.m. so anyone can experience the ride, the views, aprés ski or dinner at Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge.

In addition to the ideal location of Zephyr Mountain Lodge, our condo featured a fireplace and huge patio overlooking the skating rink. The cold weather kept us off the patio for most of the trip except each morning and evening when I stepped out to take stunning photos.

Ski Winter Park Resort

Photo courtesy of Carl Frey, Winter Park Resort

Despite having grown up skiing at Winter Park Resort, Ryan discovered a new-to-him area of the mountain. Usually, like many longtime skiers at Winter Park, he goes directly to Mary Jane Mountain to ski. Mary Jane is part of the resort and known for bumps and fantastic tree skiing. However, this time he skied Eagle Wind, a 308-acre ski area that he didn't stop talking about for a week.

Photo courtesy of Carl Frey, Winter Park Resort

Snow is usually consistent at Winter Park and this year has been no exception. It was snowing when we arrived and has been snowing on-and-off since we left. It’s a good year for skiing in Colorado.

There are 3,081 total skiable-acres at Winter Park Resort, including 166 designated trails and 1,212-acres of off-piste terrain including Vasque Cirque and glade skiing. This resort has something for everyone, from the newbie to the expert skier.

This is what makes skiing and boarding at Winter Park Resort so good; it never gets boring, even after a lifetime of skiing there.

Snowshoe & Tubing at Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort offers more than just skiing. Ryan and I proved that tubing is not just for kids, and we had a terrific time at the Coca-Cola® Tube Park. In fact, mostly adults were utilizing the hill during our visit.

I also took a snowshoe trek with our guide Rich and a couple from Castle Rock, Colorado. Snow was falling as we took the chairlift up to our starting point. The snowshoe hike is about 2.5 miles long, last two hours, includes stories about the flora and fauna and the resort’s fascinating history. It also features some stunning views that can only be seen from the slopes.

Dine at Winter Park Resort

Photo courtesy of Carl Frey, Winter Park Resort

This village isn’t huge and it’s easy to see it all. The restaurant scene is a collection of eateries that includes everything from high-end steak with a sunset view to waffles. For a steak dinner with a view, Lodge at Sunspot at the top of the Gondola provides fine dining at 10,700 feet above sea level.

Grab an excellent hamburger and other comfort food at locally-owned Vertical Bistro, a mountain modern eatery that’s classy and yet comfortable. Lime, a Denver-based restaurant, has a delightful tequila selection as well as tasty Mexican food. Goodys Mountain Creperie is the gold-standard for breakfast, as the line out of the door each morning proves. Don’t worry, the line moves surprisingly fast and the breakfast burrito is worth short the wait.

Coffee & Tea Market is the perfect little place to grab a snack and to watch skiers from the deck. And Doc’s Roadhouse is a fun place to watch sports on the big screen and a sweet spot for aprés ski.  

Our January trip to Winter Park, via Amtrak Winter Park Express (ski train), revealed a few new things, and after so many visits, it’s awesome to discover something new in a familiar and comfortable place.

Categories: The Heidi Guide